One finger salute
Outside 4 Alexandra Villas brighton, BN13RE there is a chappie giving the street view car the traditional British welcome.
Blighty today surrendered to Sreet View's all-seeing eye as Google extended the service's coverage to encompass 95 per cent of the UK. The news will come as no surprise to El Reg's eagle-eyed readership, who kept a close eye on the search monolith's Orwellian black Opels as they prowled Great Britain. Here's our Web 0.2 …
Nic 3 didn't say they minded people watching them, they said they didn't mind a Google Street View camera taking a photo of the front of their house and chose to equate it to someone walking past the front of their house and looking at it as they did, which, thank God, isn't *yet* wrong and is in fact a far cry from the popular definition of "watching" somebody or something. In case you're having trouble with the definition, I, personally, like to think of myself *looking* at a static photo and *watching* a video.
Do you understand? Do you even think you understand?
"Nic 3 didn't say they minded people watching them"
So he DOES mind people watching him?
"didn't mind a Google Street View camera taking a photo of the front of their house"
He didn't link to the street view of his house and hid behind a generic name. 'nic 3'.
"and chose to equate it to someone walking past the front of their house and looking at it as they did"
So he doesn't mind me watching him outside his house just as long as I walk?
"I, personally, like to think of myself *looking* at a static photo and *watching* a video."
I personally don't think he is happy for EITHER me to take a static photo OR a video. Rather I think he hopes to hide among the millions of houses, hoping never to be revealed.
However, if he's happy, he can let elReg give us his IP address when he's home, and he can show his house, and we can therefore verify that IP address is at that location and all take a look at the street view that he is so happy with.
Is that fair? I'm not asking for his name, or telephone number, just his home IP address (he can reset his broadband router afterwards to get a new one), and the link to the streetview he's OK with.
Walking through town, I see lots of houses. I don't know anybody. Even if I say hello to the woman weeding her garden, I still don't know her. And, in time, I'll forget...
Driving to the next town for shopping. That time we drove from Guildford to southern Spain - do you have any idea how many houses I went by, how many people I saw?
Streetview is like that. A snapshot in time, a guy with his finger up at the camera, a woman squatting for a pee, rampaging frogmen... and billions of people's houses.
It only gets creepy when somebody picks an address and tries to find out information they don't really have a need to know, except in a pseudo-stalking sense.
Therefore, there's a whole world of difference between Nic 3 saying he isn't bothered if his house is on streetview, as his will be one of millions and in that context the benefits of the service outweigh the disadvantages... as opposed to your asking for his IP address (WTF do you want that for) plus seeing his house on streetview, which would suddenly make his house one of, er, one. Oh, and unless Nic is really a girl with a foreign name, you can probably extract an address from streetview and look in references (voters register, etc) for the most likely real address. You may be able to find out his length of occupancy. Perhaps even a credit rating. Phone number too, if not unlisted. There is nothing inherently wrong with the concept of streetview, it is basically map-with-pictures. We just don't randomly give out our coordinates because of creeps like you...
As for a look at the streetview he's so happy with, try this: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?t=p&layer=c&cbll=45.08891,6.430092&cbp=12,112.97,,0,-10.38&z=10 I'm sure you'll agree that it is quite something.
"Is there a prize for being part of the 5% that didnt get streetviewed?"
Yes, euthanasia under Gordon Brown's new plan to ensure some remaining pension funds after he personally destroyed them a few years ago. As usual they didn't get the timing right - Google was supposed to go live AFTER the announcement.
I suggest you hide while you can - at least they can't do a sit rep using Streetview..
Looks like they hit my street on bin day as well, they probably do that because some areas have parking restriction on the days that the bins are emptied, so they get a better view of the houses.
I also notice that the pictures seem to be at least two years on in my area, before I changed the car and before we got the recycling bins.
during Christmas 2008, so yes, they are old images.
Not that it matters... the images look a lot better than I thought they would, when I saw the car trundling up the main street it was dark as night, but looks half decent online.
I've also seen my laptop screen on it, but not me :-)
Is it just me, or does everyone else find this to be a staggering achievement?
To have street level imaging available for the majority of the country, in high quality, is something that would have been a pipe dream a handful of years ago.
To have it free at the point of consumption (yes Ad supported, yes, google is evil etc) is even more astonishing.
I remember the first forays of public imaging with world wind, mapquest in the early 2000's. How far we've come now!
I totally agree with you. I remember when I was kid, I kind of imagined something similar to what street view is, knowing that it would in theory be possible to do, but also 'knowing' it would never happen due to the cost and the "fact" that apart from sados like me who are interested in things like geography etc, there would be no demand for it. Plus I honestly did not think it would be possible to store such vast amounts of data, not that I knew anything about that sort of thing back then.
I'm totally stunned! It took global mage-corp google to do it, but hey its pretty amazing! I would sue them for nicking my idea accept my version of it I imagined as a kid sort of combined teleportation too. Give google another 15 years and i'm sure they will offer that service too!
It caught this nasty picture of a crash outside our place.
I think the driver was distracted by the spy mobile.
Snapped their car on the A38 some 16 months back thinking they're just doing Exeter then Plymouth, but today I find my rural town just off the A38 in Devon online!
However, they've been back since then - probably last August/September (I know as I had scaffolding round the house then) so maybe they came back to fill in the gaps!
Much like the historical imagery feature of Google Earth, which only usually goes back 10-15 years or so, it would be interesting if they perform this project every 10 or 15 years to be able to select a "time era", and view the differences in roads, people, buildings, types of car etc.
It is indeed a black day for Broughton,
Although the G-car eventually drove through the village and captured it, it seems that G complied to the morons and removed the whole village.
Now where do we apply to get Broughton physically removed from the UK?
Ambergate to London Road. London Road right. Nice day.
Ends in a cul-de-sac backing on to, but not joining, the A5130.
Dragged peg guy over to that road, marked Broughton Village. Not so sunny. Followed the road back to Ambergate then on a bit.
Dragged peg guy to the ugly new-built 'town' south-west (says Oxford House Dental Surgery on the map).
You point being?
Or is this stuff only blocked to the whingin' poms?
I'm amazed that they released such a huge update in one go - there must be thousands of people looking at their houses, offices, mistresses house etc., not just here but Hong Kong has been updated too, as well as many more places.
Maybe we could get them to do the next big government site that inevitability falls over under the strain of a couple of dozen people using it at once, rather than the handful of developers the server was used to?
My home is on it. And predictably, there's no sign of me, my wife, the cat or what we are doing. I can't be identified as the owner, it's not called "Bilepipe Towers" or "Duncommentin," no-one knows if I'm even in or not.
The whole "OMG people can see my home" nonsense is just paranoia. Calm down, people. If you don't want people seeing your house, cover it up with something*.
* And if you're sitting in the garden with no clothes on, you get what you deserve...
Giving serious consideration to blocking google maps just for today as users are doing f*ck all work!!!
'oooo my house......wow thats my car.....ooo it's a thursday the bins are out'
yadda yadda... yeah ok, now can you pleeeease earn IT some money so we can fritter some of it away on unnecessary projects to keep us all in a job.
i have to get permission to take pictures of my kids when they are playing football but its ok for google to put pictures of my kids up for everyone to see?
does anyone know what rights we have to force them to remove images of us or our families?
i suspect i know the answer but its worth asking!
"i have to get permission to take pictures of my kids when they are playing football but its ok for google to put pictures of my kids up for everyone to see?"
If they're out in public at the time the StreetView car drove by, then yes it is OK, and it SHOULD also be OK for you to take photos in similar circumstances. This puzzles me about the hoo-hah over Street View - so many people think it's a bad thing, and yet at least some of these people must surely also be part of the group of people who believe individuals ought to be free to take photos in public without fear of recrimination or having some jumped up semi-official demanding to know what they're up to, why they're up to it, and to delete all photos taken whilst doing it.
It really is pathetic what has happened these last few years. There are millions of children in this country. If you go and walk down almost any street in any settlement you'll find children. There are already millions of images of children online, it does not make them any more likely to be abused by a pedophile.
People in this country need to get a grip and stop being so rediculous.
What *does* make children more likely to be abused is if they have an unstable family and a poor relationship with their parents, or if they have a mental condition which makes them more vunerable than usual. That chance of you being able to deduce any of these from a photograph taken in a public place is practically zero.
The vast majority of child abuse is done by people that know the child or are in a position of trust (typically family member, teachers, priests etc).
You only have to get permission to take pictures of your children if on private property. And it has nothing to do with the fact that they're children. It is absolutely fine for google to put up pictures of your children if they were taken in a public place, just as it is for me to do it.
I think what you actually need is a cloaking device if you're worried about this kind of thing, I mean, what happens when someone actually physically LOOKS at your children?? Won't someone think of them! Please!
Could I suggest you lock your children up inside immediately, it's the only way you can be absolutely sure they won't be seen by the paedophile army that monitors every street corner just in case a lone child wanders by. Everyone who reads the Daily Express/Mail, The Sun/Mirror or the News of the World knows this is the truth.
Alternatively, stop buying the Redtops as they're definitely having a detrimental effect on your perspective.
Your kids are statistically far more likely to be abused by a family friend or even a member of your family than a stranger, let alone a stranger who sees them on Google despite what the trash media would have you believe so get a grip, it's lunatic paranoid people like you that feed the tabloid frenzy and make our politicians think we want to be restrained more than a Tory MP on a night off.
Oh, and yes, I do have kid of my own.
This isn't exactly real-time imagery.
Before I saw this story, I happened to check Google Maps for my address and found that StreetView had magically appeared for it. We moved to our house in September 2008, and in late October 2008 we had some outbuildings and concrete paving in the back garden demolished so that we could make a proper garden. The StreetView pics show my wife's car in the driveway, the trees still in autumn leaves, and all the outbuildings still intact. So at least for my street, these pictures are between 17 and 18 months old.
Oh, and for the benefit of the AC above... Yes, this is my real name, and elsewhere online I always use the handle "Grab" which is a trivially abbreviated version of my real name (and trivial research will find various places which say what my real name is). My postcode is CB3 0QG, and I can't be arsed to link to the exact location, but it's the one with the black Cityrover in front of the house, behind a bit of a hedge. Being on Virgin, I doubt I've got a static IP address. And some trivial investigation will also find my company website. Since all this is a matter of public record, I conduct myself online as I would if I was talking to you in person. I don't much give a damn who knows any of this.
In further information, anyone who thinks it's a laugh to make silent/abusive calls, or who thinks it's a laugh to come round and be annoying in person, will quickly find the police involved.
Apparently my flat is still in the middle of development works (I've been here a year, and am the second tenant at that) and the shops under me aren't even open.
The fact is, the only people who have a complaint against street-view are the ones who have no idea how it works and are just trotting out any hogwash argument they can think of.
We were the FIRST to bring you grainy satellite images.
The first to supplement these with flight images.
The first to bring you actual views at street level.
Now.... Google goes one better..... announcing, Google LIVE view!
Yes finally, the gazillion CCTVs installed across Britain are accessible 24/7 are now accessible at the click of a mouse!
And you didn't complain when showed your town, your street, and your house, so it's a little late to complain now that we've made it LIVE!
Coming soon! Google Living Rooms Live! Using our new Android image indexing service, now you too can see what we at Google have been looking at for a long time!
It's horrible to think that Brits might be photographed as they go about their business, all across the country. It's good to see you're sticking up for yourselves, though - heaven knows where this might lead.
Imagine if it were done with live video cameras everywhere, and worse, what if only the government had access! Now THAT would be scary. Better to head it off at the pass by foaming at the mouth about still photos before it gets that bad!
Well, I can see what anyone walking or driving past my house can see.
And even though I have very strong views on civil liberties (or perhaps that should be because) I don't see anything wrong with allowing people to take photographs in a public place.
Do you? (See "I'm a photographer, not a terrorist" on facebook for more details)
It's interesting to see how Google use selective pixelation to ensure compliance with the Official Secrets Act:
No sign, no crime?
It's an invasion of privacy!
Now someone can see exactly what I wasn't doing at an unspecified date at random intervals of a year or two - terrible!
Crims could plan a raid on my property by determining that an unspecified time ago, I wasn't at home and had left the back door open!
Mandy can now now not only see what I was typing online against the government, but also see into my back yard and maybe spot my nefarious potato growing activities!
I'm going to phone the Chocolate Factory and demand that my house is blurred out!
Big Brother is real and his HQ is the Chocolate Factory!
Do we have some drivers here?...
Does anyone have a phone number to call to get google to come back and re-do our street...
the day they came down the road was the day before we had the front of our hotel painted and the new sign go up.
a few days after all the flowerbeds were re-done !!!
I can pinpoint the exact time and date the streetview car came down our street because one of our neighbours was standing on the doorstep when the guys arrived to install a stairlift... and our car had gone as the missus went to pick up the kids from school !!!
pitty it wasnt after we had the front re-vamped or i could have used the images on our website lol...
looking at the number of negaitve votes my post got clearly it is only me that cares that pictures of my family will be put up for everyone to see against my will.
i dont care they blur the face - it is my child outside our house!
i'll climb under my stone and hide just incase they come round again.
But, the plain fact of the matter is, most people's houses are now on Street View, and under the UK Photography laws, this is perfectly acceptable. Your child is outside in public, again our Photography laws allow for the photography of any individual who is outside, providing that individual was not in a place that they were expecting privacy (the anti-paparazzi section). If your child is outside in public view, then Google photographing it, is the same as a tourist photographing it.
The law allows for the free publication of these photos as well, providing they are not of an extreme obscene nature, or used in an extreme obscene way (such as peado sites).
Don't hate the player(s) hate the game, but tbh there are a lot of militant photographers out here (I'm not so militant) that fight for our right to free photography in public.
I really like this. In the first few minutes of it going live I was able to "visit" the houses once owned by both sets of grandparents (now long passed, sadly); to see my childhood home and find out that my brother hasn't cut his hedges in what looks like ten years.
Privacy issues? Puhlease.
Streetview is fantastic.
I just looked at the cottage I "was" going to rent on the Gower this summer; I'm now going to another village thanks.
Found my sister-in-law outside her new place br Crook, up by Newcastle - she wasn't washing her car, she was doing a Nora Batty over the fence with her new neighbour.
What a brilliant waste of time this will prove to be - I love it.
No, not the London one. You can see a surfeit of CCTV cameras and two plods up the driveway.
IF i take a picture somewhere, of something or someone, the chances are it will stay with me forever, my friends, family might see. No chance of twatter or farce-book ever seeing it as i dont use them, so what i do with my pics is my choice as they never end up in the pubic (sic) domain.
If im asked to delete a picture for whatever reason (say its a bad portrait) then i will do so.
You dont have that choice with google, they snapped you, your house, your car, your dog etc etc. I had my house removed because:
A: you could clearly see no car on the drive (house unoccupied?)
B:You could clearly see alarm box (something worth knicking?)
C: You could see the disabled hand rail attached outside the door my elderly, disabled mother uses to get in and out of the house (so, someone old or disabled living there)
THATS why i baulked at google and told em to remove the pictures. 3 attempts it took but now, my parents house is blacked out.
Marvellous. Should never have been photographed without my permission in the fisrt fucking place. Twunts.
You mean the house was unoccupied once, up to 18 months ago. I'm sure burglars would really find that information useful.
And presumably your highly-visible alarm box is to *deter* thieves? Why not remove it, if you think it invites them?
I half expected you to end with
D: You can clearly see the tin-foil on the roof (paranoiac?)
Whilst you might personally agree to any and all "take down" requests for the photos you take, and whilst you might never share any of the photos you take with the public at large, please don't think for one second that this means every individual photographer will behave as you do, nor even that there is any requirement for them to do so. Because they don't, and there isn't.
If anything, Google are going above and beyond their requirements by giving you the ability to censor their photos of you/your property, even if it did take you a whole three attempts to get the message through to them. You think you'd have a similar level of co-operation from J.Arthur Random if you happened to notice they'd stuck a photo of your house up on Facebook/Photobucket/Picasa/some other website? I suspect most of your requests would be answered, if not literally, then in spirit with two words, the second of which would be "off"...
Finally, are Google the twunts for photographing your house without asking first, or are you the twunt for thinking they needed to ask in the first place? As much as certain parts of our dear leadership would like it to be the case, and as much as certain people in (or who perceive themselves to be in) authority think it's the case, there are fortunately still very few genuine restrictions on when and where photos can be taken in this country.
If I wanted to stand in front of your house and take pictures of your children I could do it and I wouldn't be blurring faces.
It would not be illegal, so get over yourself.
This is a great thing. The problems with the system are where idiots have moaned about something and got sections removed. I can't even see my own house now because of some idiot complaining about their house being visible.
What they need to do now is redo some areas that have been messed up and do more deals like they have with the National Trust to use the trikes to do roads/paths where cars can't go.
If you want to complain about anything, look at the birds eye view on Bing Maps. That really will give you more information about your houses, ways in and out etc. All Google Streetview is doing is showing what I could see if I walked down your street. Or would you want to stop me doing that as well?
I am very surprised that we've not seen big adverts for this though.
A. The house was unoccupied when the Google car went past, 18 months back. So let's burgle the place now, bcos it's probably still unoccupied! I think not.
B. Alarm box = *maybe* something worth nicking (fake alarm boxes cost a tenner, incidentally), but more importantly a near-guarantee that the moment you get through the door, everyone in the area is going to be looking out their windows. Burglars are opportunists and will always take the easy target. Dogs or burglar alarms are damn near guarantees that no-one's coming in. Unless your "house" is actually a multi-million pound mansion wallpapered with Picassos, in which case the kind of criminals who'd do that job are the type for whom StreetView isn't giving them anything they haven't already taken much better photos of.
C. A hand rail may also mean someone disabled/elderly once lived there, or that an able-bodied person who lives there (or lived there) had an elderly/disabled friend/relative. My previous house had a handrail at the door because the previous owner's mother was disabled. We were there 7 years, and the handrail was still there when we left.
Google don't even have to take down those photos. They've seen nothing that Phil the Photographer wouldn't have snapped and posted online whilst documenting historically important houses, and Phil is under no legal obligation to take down pics of your house (provided he was on public land when he took the pics). And they've certainly seen nothing that Bob the Burglar wouldn't have seen better when he walked casually down your road scoping out whose place to break into next.
@ cornz 1:
Put yourself in the position of a potential burglar. Would you spend hours checking out houses in that sort of detail on streetview, when you know that (a) the images are over a year old, and (b) you're creating a log of your activities with your IP that is OBVIOUSLY going to be evidence against you...
...or would you take a stroll or drive down the street one nice day and do it that way?
By the way, do you think the burglar who does use street view is more or less likely to go and have a look at the house that's been blacked out? Give your head a shake, mate.
For anyone who hasn't tried it with an Android (Probably other handsets as well), look up Street View on Google Maps. Let it download the picture fully and you can just turn the phone around and up and down to view the area.
I had used it before and it was pretty impressive, but now with all this extra data it's even better.
The Dutch police in Venray was obviously not that familiar with the Google vehicles so they stopped them. If you look carefully you can see the "stop" sign in the top lights bar of the vehicle: http://bit.ly/bGaz55.
Either the law of probabilities appears to have struck with a vengeance in the Netherlands or they have had time to plan for mischief, there is a veritable avalanche of creative shots available, and one newspaper is presently running a competition to get the best ones. In other words, more to come.
Good - I approve of anyone taking the piss, and that includes black humour..
Seems the Google driver led the cops a merry run down the entire length of the Stationsweg road from the roundabout to the intersection at the end, before turning left at the intersection and finally pulling over... wonder if he got fined for failing to obey the directions of a police officer?
I found my parent's house, I must have been visiting when Big G went past as my car was parked outside. The odd thing was that when you look from one angle the car is there, when you "turn around" in the view, my car is missing. I can only assume they didn't simply upload the pictures as is, they must do something when they blend them.
Could they come back to my house again please as I was out and would like appear in person, just get my 15 mins as it were?
I quite like StreetView, it's been very useful for planning my photography trips as I can find really useful places to park in town streets!
I am going to be really controversial and say what a bloody good effort this mappery is. To crunch all these pictures down and stitch them together is really impressive. I bet you could fry an egg on the data centre roof though.
Full marks to Google.
But come on guys. Where's the links to the people coming out of dildo shops in raincoats or relieving themselves in shop doorways? Try harder.
I think that Google Streetview is a good thing. In a few years time (10, 15, 20, 100) this will be historical data, much like (as has been reported) the Domesday book or even the Domesday 1986 (or whatever year it was - I think it was '86) Project.
Having said that, when I first saw my house on there I was 's**t, that's my house and everybody can see it' but then I realised that it is no different to me looking at other people's houses. Where I live, chances are that it's only people who live there / are going to visit / move to the street that will see it. So yeah, I was a little but offput at first so can see where people who are are coming from.
Incidentally, I can only almost pinpoint the date that the G Wagon came arolling past; it wasn't a bin day (although because of how our house is our bins are kept out front anyway) but I had obviously taken the car to lug some PA gear around from work etc as my mum's wheelchair (which is normally kept in the boot of the car) is in the garden, and we had also left something outside our front door to be picked up from Freecycle. Unfortunately, mum doesn't keep sent emails so I can't pinpoint it any further than 'the beginning of May 2009'...
If you've got something to fear, you've got nothing to hide... no wait.. if you've got nothing to fear, you've got something to hide.. err.. okay I think I've got it.. we've all got something to hide and something to fear, so being seen 24/7 by Street View, traffic light cameras and police video surveillance is a good thing that will save our identities from the Russian Mafia. Plus we'll catch more terrorists and Google making money is good for everyone.
See, when you see the logic and the justification for the intrusion, it all makes sense. I don't understand why every other country isn't like our glorious democracy.
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